Find the unique identifier of an item in a collection#

Every item in a collection on the Internet Archive has a unique identifier. When you know the identifier of an item, you can fetch and update the various elements of that item.

This tutorial shows how to fetch the unique identifiers of all items in the collection that contains committee hearing videos of the United States Senate.


The instructions in this tutorial assume that you’re using Python 3.

  1. Install the internet archive package in your environment by running the following command:

    pip install internetarchive
  2. Get the unique identifier of the collection that contains the videos of committee hearings of the United States senate.

    1. Go to the Internet Archive home page at

    2. In the search bar, type United States Senate.

    3. On the results page, on the Media Type list, select the Collections check box.

    4. On the narrowed search results page, click the collection called U. S. Senate.

    5. Click ABOUT, and make a note of the value in the Identifier field. In this example, the value is us_senate. You’ll use this value to fetch all items in this collection.


Use the search object of the internetarchive module to get all items in the us_senate collection.

The following code snippet prints the identifiers of all items in the collection.

import internetarchive

search = internetarchive.search_items('collection:us_senate')

for result in search:

Sample output#